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Elizabeth Warren 16, Scott Brown 16, Massachusetts 15, Paul Ryan 13, Romney 13, America 11, Us 10, Steve King 9, Warren 9, Iowa 7, Barack Obama 6, Karl Rove 6, Virginia 6, Mitt Romney 5, Kevin 5, Charlie 4, Washington 4, Stouffer 4, Tammy Baldwin 4, John Nichols 4,
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  MSNBC    Up W Chris Hayes    News/Business. Smart  
   conversation on news of the day. New.  

    September 22, 2012
    5:00 - 7:00am PDT  

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hor get the yard ready for cool energy bill weather?size? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. show the yard who's boss with this echo blower for just $159. good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. two people were killed in libya overnight as protesters angry at the killing of america's
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ambassador stormed the headquarters of several islamist militias demanding they be disarmed. we'll talk about that tomorrow. president obama criticized congress in his weekly address this morning for failing to pass the farm bill and other legislation. we'll take a look at how democrats are suddenly putting up a fight for battle in congress. i'm joined by my friend, john nichols, washington correspondent and my colleague at "the nation" magazine. l. joy williams joining the program. a political strategist and part of the program "this week in blackness" who also baked this wonderful tray of banana bread. it was too kind of you. i already had a peace. kevin williamson and ana marie cox. great to have you here. this was quite a week. quite a week in the campaign. quite a week in the campaign. the latest national poll released friday from the
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national journal has mitt romney trailing president obama nationally seven points among likely voters. while swing state polls from nbc and "the wall street journal" have romney down by five points in colorado and wisconsin and eight points in iowa. it's a testament to the kind of week mitt romney has. it has to count as good news for him that this is all he's down. the romney campaign's rough week happened when politico ran a video. that was quickly overshadowed by video released by "mother jones" magazine and obtained by nbc news of mitt romney speaking to donors at a private fund-raiser in florida. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. there are 47% who are with him who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them,
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who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. >> i think people are entitled to health care and housing, but maybe it's just me. also you name it. you are entitled to you name the thing that you want. and he -- mitt romney, you probably have seen this video, we're going to play it again. >> and again. >> don't think we won't. mitt romney went on to explain why he would never reach those voters. >> 47% of americans pay no income taxes so our message of low taxes doesn't connect. it you'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. that's what they sell every four years and so my job is not to worry about those people. i'll never connect with them. they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. >> mr. romney scrambled to talk about that. he followed up tuesday with a more on point message. on wednesday romney tried to
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clarify that he's all about the, quote, 100% of america. his ticket mate, paul ryan, called romney's remarks obviously inarticulate. yesterday they revealed that they purposely limited their charitable deductions in order to bring their effective tax rate up to 14.1%. all right. where do we start? let's -- can we -- let's start with the taxes and work our way backwards because i thought the tax move, i guess i could understand the idea of, well, it's been our worst week on the campaign and we might as well just go for broke and try to shoot the moon basically and get all this out. and i just thought the idea that they literally -- and this is r. bradford malk who is the trustee explaining -- do we have the language of that here? there it is. the romneys' generous charitable
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donationness 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. the romneys then limited their deductions. they paid at least 13% in each of the last ten years. just so everyone's clear, they picked a rate that they needed to hit and then they didn't take their deductions. kevin, you're shaking your head. as a conservative, i would find this deeply offensive. >> well, i'm really upset that romney has not come around to the williamson creed which is that tax evasion is a form of patriotism. >> you should be running the campaign. >> not only is this guy willingly paying his taxes, he's paying more taxes than he has to pay. one of the few things that romney ever said that made me happy about him as a candidate. if i was paying more taxes, then i wouldn't make much of a president. i agreed with him on that. why are you throwing mona way? i like the fact that on a typical year he makes about, you know, barack obama's net worth
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and gives it away like it's nothing. that's all great, but why throw money at this, you know, evil kabol of half educated thieves and pimps we call government? >> and you know what -- >> okay. and your response? >> you know, it's just -- it's consistent with him sort of just conforming himself, you know, to what he said in that moment. you know, so he consistently changes and tries to conform his life and conform his talking points and conform his campaign, you know, to fit this narrative of trying to be the president that he says he wants to be. >> what american really doesn't sit around trying to figure out what tax rate they want to hit. >> right. exactly. >> i do. >> so many -- >> zero. you're trying to figure out -- >> your average working class american, you know, they really spend probably march and early april, i don't know if i want to hit the 34% this year, something
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like that, and to me, to me, i will tell you that if the romney campaign -- it appears the romney campaign did not -- this is true, he actually does have some kind of trust because they obviously did not consult with this guy about what to say. that is quite clear. >> no, actually, this raises an interesting point because the taxes were released by the trustee of the, quote, unquote, blind trust, that is the mitt romney blind trust. the trustee of that trust, as i pointed out on the rachel mad doe show last night, is the personal attorney. they call it a blind trust but it's not a blind trust. >> they're gutras. >> no, that's legit. >> you can walk into your personal attorney and under attorney-client privilege and go, so here's -- >> a blind tus. >> this is the tax rate i need to hit. >> it's not blind. >> what i think is interesting is i think kevin's defense of the romney tax situation is probably the most consistent
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that i've heard. the other one that i've heard is if you count those charitable donations as taxes, then you know he paid a lot in taxes but, you know, that strikes me as odd that you get to count those as taxes but payroll taxes on the other hand don't count. >> exactly. from the conservative perspective, kevin, the reason i'm glad you're here -- >> you're glad i'm here. >> you wrote this piece that got a lot of attention. i couldn't tell how much was tongue in cheek -- >> none of it. >> none of it? really? >> then i have to revise my opinion of it. it was basically like, your thesis is just embrace -- >> be the rich guy. >> be the rich guy. >> embrace it. you called it like a boss. >> i want him to sail up to the convention on his yacht and get off in his fur coat. $250 million. quit pretending like you're some schmuck from nebraska. >> you take pay from -- >> i'm from nebraska. >> schmuck from ohio. >> our goal today, viewers at
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home, stewart stevens -- the people who don't like stewart stevens who are giving those anonymous quotes to politicpolie need kevin williamson running the mitt romney campaign. >> i'm going to defend -- i think kevin's point is exactly right. no, authenticity. >> i sort of agree. >> america has for a kun interest that fought to get rid of inherited wealth and inherited power -- >> is that what we fought for? >> you bet we did. >> so they exappropriated jefferson. >> it was a good fight. as a country that fought against empire, we have a lot of people who have been president. the bottom line, the rich guy presidents have, if they're smart, roosevelt, others, even kennedy, they have figured out how to live rather glamorous lives, to live rather large but to communicate that while living large they have a little bit of concern for the little guy. romney's problem is not that he is rich. romney's problem is that he cannot communicate that he has a
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little concern for the little guy. >> yes. there's also this awkwardness and indetermine nancy and shape shifting, perfectly embodied in this idea of i said this thing offhand deadly to defend myself against the charge of being a freeloader plutocrat and now i will reverse engineer my taxes to hit the rate. >> that's what the entire tape does too. it makes it look like he will say anything in any given situation, he will say what people want to hear. that's what every politician does, but mitt romney is worse at it. >> we should play this. ana, you mentioned it. mitt romney is also calling himself unqualified to be president because of what he just now did. you have to reverse engineer that if you had a time machine. here it is. >> i don't pay more than i legally do and, frankly, if i had paid more than i legally do, i don't think i'd be qualified to become president. i think people would want me to
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follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires. >> wait. >> that's about it. >> best quota on this, i'll let you jump in. he of course has three years to file an amendment to his returns, as all-americans do. which means i just have this vision of them sitting in the hotel suite on election night as the returns come back and as soon, if he doesn't win, or even if he does, that would be the true boss thing to do, as soon as it's decided like on the phone with brad, file that amendment. i want that $300,000 check from the government right away. we're going to take a break and talk more about it after this. u, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign.
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i'm sorry, i cut you off. you wanted to make a point about mitt romney's taxes.
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>> well, you know, the conversation here is i think he needs to take cues from other hip-hop artists in terms of our culture. they can be gaudy. they flaunt what they have, cars, and still are able to communicate to people who are not at their level or will never reach their level, that they believe in them that i'm the same as you. i came from that. >> they came from that. there's been an upward trajectory in the start of a lot of hip-hop stars and a lot of people. mitt romney also in that tape he talks about being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. he admits it straight up. that's great to be honest. there's a lot of honesty on that tape. he's never had to struggle for anything ever. >> right. right. >> i think that that's the thing. that's the thing that makes him different from donald trump, from a rap mogul, that makes him different from most americans. >> can i just sum this up? with rap artist, they are flamboyant, gaudy perhaps, but
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they make people want to be them, right? in reality, nobody wants to be mitt romney. that is a fundamental reality. >> they would like to have his tax returns. >> they want his money but he is not cool enough. >> right. >> that is maybe the trilogy. >> this relatebility thing. look, let's be clear here. so there's sort of the way you project as a person, and i think you're right. there's ample examples in american history of people that came from quite a bit of wealth or even not just wealth inherited privilege, right? and there's the great,fk. >> trump being one. >> trump being one. his father is a real estate mogul. i'm talking about presidents. fdr, jfk has a very funny line about his father saying that, you know, he wouldn't pay for a blowout. he wants him to just barely win because his father didn't want to play for a blowout. that was the joking recognition of his own wealth. there's a sort of personal communication. i think if you're a democrat, if
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you're fdr who is the most redistributed democrat in the last 100 years or maybe johnson, right -- johnson, of course, did come from -- >> he came up the good way, by marrying into wealth. >> that's true. the whole point here is the policies also matter. there's a sort of way you project in policies. that's the way to bring us back to the 47% line. under mitt romney's own tax policies, right, he would pay about 2% effective rate. >> and enter paul ryan would pay nothing. >> zero. >> we would pay a truck to his house. >> they have this notarized note about the 20-year average. this is too cute by half, from 1990 to 1997 which is now included in the 20 year average, the capital gains was 30% which is twice now. it went down to 20 something and then finally the full bush tax cuts kicked in. part of the reason they're doing the 20e year average is so they can bake in the cake from 1990 to 1997 when they had to pay a
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30% rate. let me finish this point. i'm talking too much. the point here, this gets us to the 47% thing to me. there is a synthesis here between a policy vision about taxes and redistribution and what american people should do and who makes the american economy run and i think there's genuine contempt that's shown to not be funny for a secretary. i don't know if it's genuine or not or he's pandering to the contempt of the people in the room, but these people, i can't convince them to take responsibility for their lives. he's an unbelieve by, jerky offensive think to say about half the population. i'm not making some grand insightful analytical point that no one else has made this week, but it really, really angered and offended me. people work really freaking hard. >> some of them do. >> right. some of them do. that's right.
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>> my favorite novels is "infinite guest" and his line is, tell me what sort of man you like and i'll pretend to be that sort of man. this is what he tells women all the time. romney is kind of that guy as a presidential candidate. whatever crowd he's in front of, he's very sort of malleable in terms of his rhetoric. i think what he did in this situation was con flad two things. there's about half of the population that doesn't pay any federal income tax. there's half the population that is some level dependent on government subsidies or entitlemen entitlements. those are two different things. not the same group of people. there's overlap. >> there's also a third group. conflated three groups. people that are independent in terms of what you said, government subsidies. subsidized student loans. >> we're talking about people who get a household check from the government, social security, medicare. >> income tax credit, disability. >> that are earned benefits. >> earned benefits. >> i don't know about that.
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>> and the third group -- >> veterans who served in war probably earned their benefits. >> and the other 98% of that group we can talk about. >> it's not 98. >> the third thing he conflated, there's people that are dependent on some government program or subsidized with the government or drawing from earned benefits or recipients from the payouts on social insurance. there are the 47% who don't pay federal income tax, of course paying payroll taxes. there's only 15% who don't pay any taxes. there's the 46 or 47% of the electorate that's going to vote for president obama no matter what. those are three distinct categories that he took and shoved together. the reaction to the videotape is this is just malpractice as a basic political analytical understanding of what the electorate is. you are running for president. you should understand at a very granular level who is the electorate, who are they voting for and what is the distribution of what they are. this is an unbelievable
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misunderstanding of the electorate. >> what i've been thinking about what mitt romney's week is like when he said paying more than what he needed to in income tax should disqualify him as president. saying that. the way he's been running his campaign should disqualify him. as journalists i agree with a lot of media criticism that we cover the process too much. that doesn't have to do with the actual issues at hand. sometimes when you run a campaign that seems this mall a trite. it seems like it's a bad indicator of what kind of commander in chief he will be. >> to that point, i think about that. if you cannot even manage the small campaign team that you have to put out a message to communicate your policies, to all of those things, how can you run a country? >> i would say the inverse of this is the great onion headline. what was it? it was something like iraq -- iraqis stunned by bush campaign
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competence. it was about like, wait a second. these guys really do know what they're doing. >> what you have to keep in mind about romney, there's a big difference between voters about who they are and what they think they are. >> absolutely. >> when they think they're receiving government benefits. >> hold on one second. i want to take a break and continue the conversation after this. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ [ female announcer ] and try aleve for relief from tough headaches. sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!!
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[ laughing ] [ laughing ] ♪ john nichols, i cut you off. >> commercial break, it's important. >> we need them. i was going to say i think one of romney's big problems is he's been such an amorphous candidate. he's been a liberal republican, a conservative republican, walk into the bar, the bartender says, hello, mitt. the bottom line, he's been all over the place. the one thing that he's done that was firm was pick paul ryan as his vice president. you know, i have a problem with this 47% that doesn't pay taxes. i'm not going to worry about
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them. maybe mitt will change tomorrow. paul ryan won't. he's absolutely committed to going after those programs, social security, medicare, medicaid, pel grants, all of this stuff. i think you put the two of them together and you get a very scary message for america. >> i want to play this because there's a strain in there. this idea of the freeloader class as a kind of class analysis. the hilarious thing, the political analysis is wrong and naive. it's wrong empirically in terms of who the groups are. it's an inversion version of the vulgar marxist leftist aspiration of class-based politics. we're going to get the bot tonl 60% and they're going to vote their class self-interest against the top 40%. that never happens in politics. people's identities are amazingly fractured in a number of different ways. it's a by zarlly naive class analysis or political analysis.
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it's define being access. here's paul ryan talking about makers and takers of the economic club. >> chasing ever higher spending with ever higher tax rates will decrease the number of makers and increase the number of takers. able bodied americans will be discouraged from being lulled into the lives of complacency. >> i'd like to hear your thoughts on this, kevin. able body americans will be discouraged from working in levels of lives of complacency. the reason people have been taken off of federal income tax rolls are because of a series of tax credits expanded by republicans intentionally as policy. the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit which was expanded by bush that has taken people off the rolls as a conservative form of policy
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grounded in milton freedman. the most efficient way of -- you don't want to have a lot of clujy government programs. you want to efficiently distribute through the tax code, these credits. one of the things this 47% has precipitated is civil war between republican conservative wonks. >> you have two thoughts. you have the sort of libertarianish view that the fewer people on the tax rolls, the better. you have a lot of people, i'm sympathetic, you are creating an operational problem who people are net taxpayers versus givers. democracy survives until they can vote themselves largess out of the democracy. i think that's overblown, but they are real. i've always sort of disliked the kind of right wing talking point about people who don't pay
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taxes. even poor people pay a lot of taxes in the form of payroll taxes. >> and regressive ones. >> poor people do pay higher taxes because they pay it in rent. homeowners get tax credits and things like that. >> yeah. >> there are things about that. it's hard to get a really good read on what people pay in taxes. most people like me anyway think everybody pays too much. we'd like to see everything cut across the board. using that as a kind of wedge point to go after people rhetorically seems not the best way to go about things. >> is this similar to the health care, universal health care? that was also a republican -- it was at least the -- >> heritage foundation. >> it sort of came from this as well. >> mandate. >> yeah, the mandate. >> the heritage plan, everybody
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talks about the obama care being based on the heritage plan. it was just voted in a couple of years ago. >> the point here i think is that -- sorry. ana marie. >> the conflation of all of these three groups, people don't. they don't vote themselves largess. the people who do that are rich people. the people who use the political system to create tax breaks for themselves, to create money making opportunities for themselves are the people at the top. the people in other places don't. this gets to voter i.d. actually, this idea that there are people who are looking at the government as a way to get their money and will vote for the person who gives them their money is one of the tactics that people use to try and enforce voter i.d. laws. >> if you take a drill, an analytical drill and you start drilling into this republican campaign and you drill down through this quote and you drill
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down to voter i.d., where you hit bedrock is, i think, an age-old conservative skepticism of democracy. >> in my case. >> right. i think that's a genuine long-standing conservative view. and it's one that is because we live in a democracy, people think -- >> you normally can't go conservative if you think of the constitution. there's a reason we have a republic instead of a dem mock kra si. >> that e-mail i get that from conservative people. >> you thrive towards democracy as dr. king said and we may yet get there. >> i hope not. >> again, i rather hope -- >> you'll campaign. >> it's good we're both on the show here in this democratic experiment, but the -- i do think that there's something important about what is said and there is, in fact, the skepticism. remember, we have at least four
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republican u.s. senate candidates this year who want to eliminate the election of the u.s. senate. this is a reality. skepticism about democracy. >> right. >> but at the same time, this is a party that has lived on the strength of its support from poor people. 38% of john mccain's voters were folks who made well under $30,000 a year. very much the 47% types. >> right. >> and, in fact, mitt romney is running weaker among these people this year, about 34% in some polling. this is one of the big swing groups in american politics. poor people swing. in 2010 when republicans did very well, their republican numbers were way up. the fact of the matter is, romney's doing very dangerous politics here. forget about ideology. this is dangerous politics. you start to drive even a portion of that away from you, you start to create big democratic -- >> one thing i would add is poor white people swing. >> poor black people do not
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swing. >> in defense of my african-american community, not as well as my friend here. >> i'm not attacking them. >> 2% of the black vote that's unreliable. >> african-americans have, there is a significant history of african-american voters, low income african-american voters in situations where a white democratic candidate has been unacceptable for some reason. >> sure. >> where they have -- >> sure. but i'm saying presidential elections. we're talking about presidential elections, you're talking about poor people, who is going to swing. we're talking about poor white people. ana marie, i want to hear from you after we take this break. and for 85% of guys, it regrew hair. save up to 42% now at rogaine.com.
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who will screw me. which of these candidates is out to get me. >> who's dangerous? >> who's dangerous to me? that's why i think mitt romney has had a lot of problems. this is maybe just one of them. he's been unable to create a mess same and doesn't want to create a message because he's writing off those voters. >> let me say this. what's interesting about the discussion we're having, how voters self-identify and how useful of an analytical tool these clat categories are whether it's makers/takers distinction, whether it's the white working class, which is an analytical category we use on the left a lot. we sort of ring our hands over how do we -- no, i'm seriously. >> magically recall the 30. >> there's a whole literature, how do we lose the white working class. what's interesting, this has been a terrible week for mitt romney. structurally i think if you ask anyone, if you held the election tonight who would win? barack obama would win, right?
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and yet it's all fluctuating in a fairly narrow band. for all that's happening this week, polling down 7 points nationally which is quite big, if you look at the average polls, everything is sort of we shouldn't overstate how much things are moving. partly that is because big demographic groups are already baked into the cake. they just might not be the kinds of analytical categories that either mitt romney talking about it in a secret tape or we're talking about it in our analysis. >> a couple of things are left out of that. very strong aspirational aspect. you have low income people who expect to do better in life tend to be politically more conservative and tend to identify with the republican party. people who don't expect to do any better tend to do well with democrats. a lot of these votes are decided. you have this enormously charismatic incumbent president who's having trouble breaking 50%. that's a real indicator
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something is wrong. >> unemployment. >> yeah. and then if you take it down into the states and tirch areas where things are doing better, the president does better, and that's what i think i want us to pay attention to as well, that if i was looking at the country in its entirety and breaking it down in racial groups, if we want to do that the country is moving towards more people of color. as we continue to get more in the population in that equation we were talking about, swing voters of black and white, we forget latinos, asian-americans as well. but they don't. >> they don't forget. >> yeah. they forget that they need to appeal to them. >> i don't think that's true. >> they're trying to appeal to them in different ways so it's not trying to appeal to them as a latino american or as a native american, i'm going to appeal to you in terms of your wealth, in terms of your education, sort of
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that -- there's different ways to appeal. >> look, did you watch the convention? >> i did. i was there and i have to agree with her. i didn't watch it, i was physically in the room. >> let's divide people. >> latina night. >> it was like latina night. >> we do two things. what are the policies of the republican party? the policies represent largely the policies that would favor both their financial base and their dem graph vick base. that tends to be older white conservative men, right? and those are the folks who, for instance -- they're people who are on medicare who are going to be above the 55-year-old threshold that paul ryan put to cut off. we don't want to cut you people off, our voters, sfliet. >> what do you mean, you people? >> yeah, exactly. that's right. extremely skeptical about the process, the demographic process that's happening in america, you're right, that the country
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is growing less white and more racially diverse and extremely, extremely angry about the incompetent kurgss of illegal immigration. the notion that people will get a free pass. these are genuinely felt things which means the positions that are taken in a primary and the positions that have been taken by the house republican caucus and the republican caucus in the senate has been very hard line on this issue. now that's one set of things about what is motivating policies. then there's the fact that they're going into a national election in which latinos are a larger and larger part of the vote share and they cannot get killed among that demographic by the amount that john mccain got killed by. and mitt romney told himself, the donors behind closed door, if we lured latinos, the way we've been losing them, we're screwed as a party. they are caught between the political process and the desires, the strong i would say
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tribal desires of a huge part of their demographic base. ana. >> and the regional basis as well. this is the thing. that's the key of the analysis, the national party. if the republican party wants to remain a national party, they need to figure out what their strategy is. they've figured it out. they have a national and local sttegy. they'll lose it if they keep going the way they are. >> it's interesting. kevin made an important point. at the republican national convention a major effort was made to do outreach. >> yes. >> i think there were people who were sincerely committed to doing it. the governor of new mexico made a stellar speech and yet, and yet as they're doing all this effort, anybody who's actually watching the convention knows when jan brewer, the militant on immigration issues, when show rose to announce the arizona delegation's votes she got the longest, loudest spontaneous applause from the convention.
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the problem is this. you can put people up who really are sincere but when it is so obvious that the base of the party passionately is uncomfortable with this change. >> yes. kevin, i want to hear from you right after we take a break. any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
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we started at the tape, right. we've now had a long tour through this. this is an important thing. what the tape shows is the waves of understanding the electorate and the categories for which it breaks. aside from the offensiveness of the romney comment was the sheer analytical bankruptcy of it as a tool for understanding how the electorate which was disturbing since the guy who is running for national office who should understand who the voters are. >> i wonder what karl rove thought? >> i know. karl rove goes down to the minister in the columbus suburbs, seven friends horks is
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i.d.eds. >> i can tell you what he thought, h'm, there he is a senate race in michigan. i may want to shift some money to it. karl rove sits on a pot of money that's supposed to be presidential. because we've blown up campaign finance laws in this country can become senatorial. >> we're going to talk about that, soon? how much output funding is going into local races. >> look, i follow this. this is fascinating. karl rove is actually in charge of this operation. i mean, he's not -- >> called american -- >> he's the big kid. he sends the signal. if karl rove decides, as he did, say, with christine o'donnell in 2008, if he decides mitt romney is sort of not competent, i'm not going to waste my money on this guy. that is not necessarily a good thing for democrats. >> no. >> if he starts to go down ballot he can move money. >> one of the things that's really fascinating here, we're saying the fluctuations that
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have happened on the national polling. even in swing states, it's fluctuated. the president has gotten much better in a relatively small area. that's not true in the senate races. the shift has been quite sizeable and i would say tectonic. i want to figure out what the basis is. >> that's the focus. you were talking about shifting to the down ballot. that's the reason we get pam brewer, these policies on the state level. this is how we got judges on state supreme courts pushing those things. it's so interesting to me saying we don't want activist judges on the court and -- >> talking about extreme views on illegal immigration that are shared by 80% of america? >> let us also -- let's extend it out. >> having very strong restriction attitudes about illegal immigration.
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>> but i don't think that's what you were saying. i think you're talking about a range of extremes? >> yes. not only on immigration, we're talking about abortion. >> if you're a democratic office holder who's not an extremist, they're 100% no on abortion on demand. if you look at where the democratic platform is versus the average american -- >> i disagree. s i think people's views on abortion like immigration are self-conflicting. >> you have americans who have george b. bush's view. abortion is legal in some situations and restrictive in others. you need to decide. >> when you view this, the polling on abortion is -- >> it's not ruth bader againstberg. >> it is a show itself. on the extreme question,
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republicans didn't just take over the congress, they took over state legislatures. those two votes are highly correlated. when people go in to vote, right, they're voting for the national party. and the way our government is acting, particularly at the national level, is parliamentary. what you're seeing is a national lieization of the election. they look more like a parliamentary system while we retain the old system of these sort of clujy institutional framework. kevin is smiling at me calling the constitution clujy. i want to figure out why that's the case up next. at's why at de, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone's ready with the know how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready.
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so that's a swinger just letting us know what he thinks about the terminology. the polling bumps president obama got for the democratic national convention has subsided some. voter enthusiasm remains high. combine that with the problems for mitt romney you get the beginning national wave for republicans. it's coming this week when states have started early voting. as of this morning half the states are already casting ballots. the top of the democratic ticket president obama has strengthened. key senate races now favor democrats. virginia poll shows tim kane an 8% lead over george allen. quinnipiac shows tammy baldwin in wisconsin neck in neck for tommy thompson. tammy baldwin is running for the senate seed and that's after
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tammy baldwin was down by 9 points. a month ago the same poll showed her down 6 points. in connecticut senate race chris murphy leads linda mcmahon. in massachusetts, a race we'll talk about, elizabeth warren had the lead over scott brown in four over five polls. nate silver who forecasts the down ballot races and his 538 blog for "the new york times" wrote on thursday, the democrats' chances of controlling the senate have increased to 79 percent ners in the forecast up from 70% on tuesday. had we run the model a month ago based on polls from august 19th, the democrats' chances of maintaining senate control would have been listed at just 39%. in the house the democrats still have an uphill battle to win back the house. the average at the polls is they have an advantage on the generic
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congressional vote, that was not a case just a month ago. pretty stunning turn around that prompts the obvious question. what has changed. john, you have been koofrg a lot of races. what's your theory of what this shift has been about? >> i think it's a multiple shift, not just one. i don't want to make it too complicated. the fact of the matter is in most of america we have become parliamentary. i hear this not just from pollsters who are seeing it as well, but also from people who work the doors, people who are actually doing it. they're saying you go to the door in a state assembly race or state senate race they talk about presidential as if it's all connected. many of the senate candidates around the country at a point when barack obama was not polling well and the republicans were looking strong aligned themselves quite closely with the national ticket. it has become a burden. in the classic case, the warren/brown debate where elizabeth warren repeatedly said
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this is about control of the se senate. i'm for barack obama. i want him to be president. >> in a state where barack obama is up 22% in the polling, she was nationalizing it everywhere. i was in las vegas which is not just anywhere in neck. it's a distinct set place with a distinct set of problems. i want to show you my interview with shelly berkeley running for senate there after this break. up. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up.
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wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. all right. we are back here. john nichols from the nation magazine. l. joy williams also here. kevin williamson from the national review and ana marie cox from the guardian. great to have you all here. we are talking about the state of the down ballot races. ana marie you said you had a theory about why -- we've seen this break that has happened i think in the last month that's
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really clear decidedly in the democrats direction. it's been across the country. when you're thinking about theorizing what's going on, it can't be candidate quality because it's happening in virginia, massachusetts, nevada, and in house races we're going to talk about someone who's running against steve king in iowa. what is your theory on this? >> if you look at the swing states, pennsylvania, ohio, virginia were the places where -- swing states where romney has the biggest gender gap. in virginia, 20 points or it was at some point. what those three states have in common are some of the most restrictive approaches to choice that have been put up in any states in the state legislatures. i have this instinct or theory that perhaps women in those states look at what's happening at their state and these awful things that are being said and proposed, the trans vaginal ultrasound in virginia and i believe in pennsylvania that was as well. i think that taints the ticket.
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>> the extremism of the party. >> it makes republicans look like they're anti-women. i don't want to say republicans are anti-women but i think women look at that. >> i agree with that. the question is why in the last month? the question is that's been the case. they've been passing that. something is happening in the last month. there's one argument is the todd akin had a branding effect and reminded people of the stuff that had been going on. >> a couple of things about that. i think it's a myth that pennsylvania is a swing state. if you go back and look, it's just not a swing state. it hasn't been for a while. >> virginia. >> i think you're right about akin poisoning the whole republican brand. he is a good reminder of what people don't like about the republican party. keep this in mind, you're talking about nationalizing the race. i've been covering elizabeth warren. i don't think she has any choice. if you've ever seen her speak, she knows not the first thing about massachusetts. her world pretty much ends at
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cambridge and -- >> charlie pierson. >> i've never heard her say one thing about state level massachusetts issue in anything but the most perfunctory fashion. >> we'll bring in schacharlies pierce. i was visiting my brother who was a state director for obama in america. >> shocked. >> runs in the family. >> here's what was so fascinating for me. shelly berkeley is a congresswoman there. you go out to las vegas. you think, las vegas is one of the most, i don't know, three, four most distinct places in new york. new orleans, new york city, las vegas, they're out there. you know, what's the median america look like? las vegas is quite different, right? it's a place with tons of local issues. there's yucca mountain that's
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always in every debate but there's a massive foreclosure rate, worst in the country. highest unemployment. clark county which is where about 80% of the voters. 80% of the homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. i think it's that high. you say, i'm going to see a race hotly contested, a neck and neck race, i'm going to see a race that is about all the distinctness of this place that is experiencing special problems and that is not at all the case. it is a totally nationalized election. i turn on the tv in the hotel and it's ads for cutting medicare. it's ads from shelly berkeley attacking dean heller, who voted twice for the ryan budget, once in the house and once in the senate. the first ryan budget that would cut it. what you have there, i thought this made me think this is what's happening. this is a very nationalized race. i think paul ryan's place on the
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ticket. >> that's it. >> was part of that national ryization. you look at what happened a month ago. i sat down and asked her about this medicare question. >> let's not make any mistake here. there's only one candidate in this race, my opponent who has voted to kill medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies and end guaranteed benefits. i don't think anybody in the state of nevada or the united states wants to continue overpayments to insurance companies but by restricting and ending those overpayments we extended the life of medicare by nine years. >> the interesting thing about your opponent is he voted for the early version of the ryan plan which is the more aggressive which would have turned all of medicare for those under 55 into the voucher program. he voted for the second version which was the more moderate version. he has a strange record on this. >> well, look. there's a lot to do with
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political expediency. he voted twice, not once to turn it over. that's not going to work in this state. >> the reason i played that clip is because dean heller realized the second time he ended up passing the ryan budget he realized he had to run for re-election. he didn't vote for the ryan budget. even though it moved to the left. it offers seniors a choice. to me, if you're going to say what happened a month ago that switched things, i think it's ryan. i think ryan on the ticket has made this -- and for some reason strategically republicans have decided they want to have a debate about medicare, who's cutting it more, they're the party that is the defenders of medicare. i think that is strategically ridiculo ridiculous. >> you're so right. >> thank you, john. >> and it's not because we are associated. no. when you were bringing up akin i
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was thinking, that's lovely. no, come on. it's paul ryan. here's the bottom line on this. before paul ryan was selected for the ticket you had republican senate candidates airing ads saying, i'm not with paul ryan. don't look at me as a paul ryan guy. that's not me. now suddenly you put him on the ticket and you make every republican senate and house candidate have to answer questions about medicare and social security. this week nancy pelosi, the daughter of a very effective politician in baltimore who knows how to jump on things shall started airing ads of pictures of paul ryan and republican house candidates. why? this is a nationalized race. in fact, it's totally legitimate. >> i think i agree with you, that adding ryan to the ticket definitely upped that. i think we also can't not forget timing, right? the american electorate is also tuned more in now. so something we were saying
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earlier, that in the polls tharp months ago, you couldn't really -- they weren't real reflective of what people thought because people weren't that tuned in. now people are tuned in. it's less than 40 days to election day and so people more and more have a view on sort of who are they going to vote for. >> having been to the convention and listened to these wall to wall pans to medicare, the republican party wants to abolish it. it's a secret program. it's going away anyway. it's totally unsustainable. it's a question of whether it goes away in 10 years, 15 years, 22 years. there are lots of different ways to let medicare fail but it's going to fail. medicare's unfunded liabilities are more than the gdp of the planet. >> can you extend out, what, 100 years? >> rather than worry about that talking point, let us -- let us zblsh talking point? for god's sake, it's math.
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>> some reality here, can we just say that mr. simpson and mr. bowles when they watch those conventions must have felt, wow, here's the love we were missing. the fact of the matter is that we do have serious conversations to have about these issues. neither the republican party or the democratic party is in the midst of a zero conversation about these issues at this point. what we have done by the selection of paul ryan, one of the most inept selections in the history of government, by the selection of paul ryan. >> goodness gracious. >> mr. romney has said we do not want to have a discussion about these issues. we are going to have a discussion specifically about medicare, medicaid, social security, and we republicans are going to run on the theory that we're fans of it by nominating a guy who is going to rip it apart. >> for the record, i thought aaron burr was -- >> he wants to talk about entitlement reform. it's not a serious issue?
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it's the issue. >> but they are running and saying, barack obama wants to cut medicare. >> right. >> in 2010. >> i want to bring in charlies pierce who was at the debate the first of four right after we take a break. tener made from the goodness of fruit. the rich, sweet taste of sugar. nothing artificial. ♪ it's all that sweet ever needs to be. new nectresse. sweetness naturally.
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all right. are marquise senate race in the country, one, kevin, that you've written about is the massachusetts senate race. i think that's because obviously scott brown who wanted a special election to take ted kennedy's seat almost got rid of the affordable health care act, that was when the tea party announced itself in the american politics as a general electoral force. scott brown is the iconic figure on the right for that.
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elizabeth warren, his opponent, who is the brainchild behind the consumer finance protection bureau, she was in the dodd frank legislation. she oversought t.a.r.p. she wrote an amazing book about middle american income. she was a bankruptcy professor at harvard law. this is a big race. there's a lot of money, a lot of national attention. elizabeth warren had been polling down basically the whole race so far. scott brown is a very good politician, very able, incredibly relatable. had a a genuinely amazing story. his memoir is incredible. i would recommend it to anyone. the guy has an incredible personal forry. very effective politician. even though barack obama was up 22 points in massachusetts, that has really, it seems, shifted in the last two weeks. we've seen poll after poll after poll with elizabeth warren up. there's been a definite shift in
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the race. thursday night was the first debate against the two, and i want to bring in charles pierce, lead writer at "esquire" magazine and a veteran observer in massachusetts. he joins us from boston this morning. charlie, great to have you on the program. >> good morning, chris. good morning, everyone. >> so what has shifted in this race? we're puzzling flew the shift that we've seen nationally in the race in the last month, and i'm curious for the massachusetts specific answer to that question. >> well, it's funny because i know kevin wants us to be running a race for governor's counsel here, but its a a little bit bigger than that. the couple of wild cards in this race that play into what you were speaking about earlier, number one, both of them agreed there would be no outside money in this race, and regardless of what you think of that in terms of entertainment value i don't think of very much, but the deal
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has been health. there hasn't been a lot of outside money. this has seemed to be nationalized without the help of karl rove's help or move on's help or anything. >> that's interesting. >> i think that's one thing that's happened. the second thing had a has happened is elizabeth warren has found her feet as a political candidate. i think it started at the convention. you saw it a little bit in the debate. my biggest part of the debate was it was a battle of two people who were completely overprepared. scott brown was overprepared to be a belligerent jack ass and elizabeth warren the same. you had a couple of magnets with reverse polarity. they talked past each other. they didn't really engage. i think basically you had, you know, setup for the next three debates. the other thing that's going on here in terms of nationalizing the race is scott brown would rather admit that he's voting for kotos than admit he's a
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republican. he can't find it in his literature. you can't find it on his commercials. he won't say whether or not he endorses the primary candidate. >> what do you want him to do, charlie, he's running in massachusetts. >> no, no, no, the way we say up here, for pete's sake, i'm running for office. >> for pete's sake, you're running for office. you twloet piece about how overprepared they were and i thought it was spot on because i watched part of the debate and as a host of a conversation show that sometimes has debates, it was sort of a train wreck because they were overprepared. when people come on this show and they have lots of notes and they're reading off, it's he like, no, no, no, actually talk to me. hang on, chris, i'm going to hide my league example. the one thing i found useful about the debate was i had totally forgotten what elizabeth warren's job was. what profession is elizabeth warren. scott brown nicely took a little
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opportunity to remind me and the voters of massachusetts. >> yes, if you're -- >> i want to thank professor warren claimed. professor warren's proposals and the criticism that you're hearing from professor warren, give it to professor warren, she'll spend them. >> the only person in this race who is hurting the middle class and wants to raise taxes is professor warren. >> the difference between me and professor warren. >> professor warren who is always take the first approach. >> give it to professor warren to spend. >> i hope you didn't do a drinking game. >> no, i remember after watching this debate exactly what her occupation was. i found that useful. >> as a matter of courtesy i refer to them as professor this or that. >> yeah, when i e-mail them. >> but in warren's case it's become a weird little epithet. a professor at harvard. >> we have to -- charlie, we have to sit through three more of these. i will perfectly stipulate that
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if he wants to call her elizabeth and she wants to call him scott or scotty or liz, i'm willing to go with that. >> between senator and professor -- >> they should attach a rider to the no big money. >> i was going to say. >> a little rider that says let's just call each other by our first names. >> all that elizabeth warren wanted dsh i don't think she has any reason not to be referred to that is scott you call me something other that be my regular name, i'm going to start calling you republican brown. >> or senator. >> why not call him republican brown? >> encyclopedia brown. >> the other sort of bizarre piece of this, we don't have the sound of this, they were talking about the vote for alanna king. >> elizabeth warren said when you're voting for him, he's going to vote against ee lan in a kagan. he says, i'm sorry i didn't vote
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for your boss. i thought that was pretty hilarious. concern, you've been covering this race. i want to hear your thoughts on it after we take this break. >> sure.
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kevin, i really like the piece you wrote for the national review about this race, and one of the things i thought was interesting was just these two personality studies of people in some ways there's an interesting fact about the two people. they're both american meritocratic people. they're hard working, come from different backgrounds that weren't in the inside of the american elite. one's a senator, one's a harvard law professor that we learned from the debate. what's your sense of the shape of this? it seems to me the fundamental is can elizabeth warren hang republican around chris brown's neck? >> it's a weird race. to have republican in massachusetts is unexpected. everyone loves having scott brown in that seat is a thumb in
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the eye. he's not conservative. he's kind of a main lady except he's in the wrong state. you have elizabeth warren running a populist campaign but she is manifestly uncomfortable around human beings. i was up there for the sait. patrick's day thing and watching her work a crowd -- >> those are different things. being uncomfortable and being comfortable -- being comfortable in a crowd. >> yeah, i've been to like more than a dozen of those saint pat tricks day things, saint patrick wouldn't be comfortable in that crowd. basically it's a losing -- it's a whole bunch of half drunk -- >> half? >> half drunk has beens. >> open bar at 7:00 a.m.? >> the red haired person on this panel. >> we hold it a little bit better up here than they do at the halls of the national review. i agree, she had to learn to be
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a candidate. >> go ahead, charlie. >> she got a big boost yesterday from tom monino. nobody will compete with harvard ee least it. here's the thing i find interesting about elizabeth warren. she had to learn how to be a candidate. she was this rock star figure in progressive circles. long before she became a politician, and she has, i think, a natural charisma. you know, and that natural charisma -- >> a perfect store. >> professorial. here's what i found so interesting. i watched her speech at the convention and i thought it was so boilerplate, like it was very talking point kind of generic democrat and at the same moment that she's finally got shorn away the things that made her, i thought, a very dynamic, vibrant
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presence, that i found to be the source of her charisma, she is doing much better as a candidate. it is really an interesting message. >> what is wrong? >> better results. >> that's right. charlie, is that what has happened? >> i think to an extent it is. i think the other thing that's happened is that somebody in scott brown's campaign has decided that they're going to throw away the two great advantages he had coming in. number one, he's the incumbent u.s. senator which gives him a certain gravita. second of all, he's a happy guy. he's mr. happy barn coat with a truck full of lovely children and a great wife who used to be on tv. we do, in massachusetts, as the country is discovering to its horror at this point, elect a certain kind of republican. basically we have so many democrats we don't want them to steal everything. we elect a romney 1.0 or we elect a scott brown.
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we know who these people are. scott brown has decided and i think he probably will dial this back in a second debate although i don't know. he has decided not to be that guy for the moment and i think that's thrown him off. >> one of the problems that scott brown has, one of his predecessors was attorney general back in massachusetts in 1964 when goldwater ran for president. edward brook was overwhelmingly re-elected, huge margin. what he did was he renounced lyndon johnson. he said, i am not a part of this national party. i am a republican. i'm going to fight to make the republican party something different. >> not barry goldwater. >> apologize. the critical thing to understand here is scott brown won't do that. if he does not do that, he will lose this race and he will lose this race because of his association with the national party. >> and the reason he won't do that is because the regional breakdowns in party discipline in the 1960s were very different than the regional breakdowns in the party discipline 2012 which
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is why the argument -- look, if i met a conservative from alabama, okay, and -- >> not to engage in geographic stereotyping. >> no. i'm saying it's an analogy. liberal from massachusetts. if i met a conservative in a state that's wildly red and they had a charismatic senator, i would say rationally, they will vote for the democrats. you're voting for mitch mcconnell or harry reed. edward brook, the geographical first african-american senator. the fact is we can talk about these things regionally. bottom line is, that is still a political reality. if mitt romney continues over the next few weeks to be as toxic as he is and scott brown does not make that separation, i cannot see how he can win this race. >> mitt romney, i should say, toxic -- >> there's also a certain
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precedent here too in that a while back we had a really great senate race up here between john kerry and bill welch. probably the classic senate race of the last 10 or 20 years. the thing that tipped it at the very end besides bill welch decided he didn't want to be a candidate was that john kerry managed to hang the national republican party around bill well's neck just enough to get a margin of victory. that can repeat itself or it can't, but that's what happened last time we had one of these. actually, this should be a much better campaign than it has been. >> charlie pierce, "esquire" magazine, great to have you on the program. hope we can get you in new york. >> thank you, chris. >> christie vilsack, the democratic candidate running against steve king in iowa will join us in just a bit. 6 rogaine? well, i'll admit it.
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howard brooks, senator from massachusetts, african-american republican. i said he was an african-american senator, the first one, after reconstruction. no disrespect to the one in 1870, 1871 in mississippi. since i just got through reading eric's history reconstruction, i would be gravely in error to know that. >> we need more people called hiram in politics. >> i agree. >> kevin, don't you think -- i almost said don't you think i'm right about something. i caught myself midway through. >> it has a retorqual gap. >> this sort of -- like shouldn't a massachusetts democrat vote for elizabeth warren? >> well, a massachusetts democrat? >> yeah. >> i would think so. a couple of things, i think this whole idea of romney being toxic
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is way, way over blown. he hasn't had the best week at all, but it's still a toss up which it shouldn't be for barack obama. the amazing thing about scott brown is that he's in the race at all. this is like a democrat winning in utah. he's in a very, very hostile place and what's been amazing to me is that scott brown really has this reputation of being the sort of, you know, nice, likeable guy. even though i personally like scott brown i don't get because that doesn't seem like his personality to me. on the stump he seems like a cocky little bit of a jerk actually. again, i wish more politicians were like that. it seems more honest. you're saying being a belligerent jackass. >> charlie. >> charlie, yeah. you're probably going to see more of that. and -- >> yeah. >> -- i'm not sure being a nice guy really wins a race. i think he's likeable in that sense but, yeah, he's an extraordinarily hostile place.
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it's amazing he 40e8ds office to start with. >> romney being toxic, i agree it's overtated. it's the ryan plan. the medicare ryan plan is far more toxic as a thing you'll run ads on than mitt romney. we should say this week a few data points in the romney causing problems downed ballot. there's the 47% comment. linda mcmahon, she distanced herself saying i disagree with governor romney's insinuation that 47% of americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. i know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be. >> she's so disappointing. >> i have a very different view of the world and as a united states accept tore i think i represent everybody on the responsibilities of the federal government as a safety zblet your data point here is senate candidates utter benilitie se.
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congratulations. >> one more data point. first of all, let me say this in defense of myself, even the most basic phi nalts are not always uttered by republicans when they come to that kind of distancing when they come from conservative zblogs in connecticut? >> no, even in connecticut. in fact, the republican party to its great -- to its great credit as a unified entity often doesn't broken a lot of that dissension. here's senate candidate tomorrow any thompson explicitly asking why are you behind tammy baldwin, the presidential thing is going to have an impact on everything. if you're a standard bearer for the presidency is not doing well, it's going to reflect on the down balance lol. that's tommy thompson. >> one thing i think you're all right about. >> everything. >> aside from everything. is that you're really seeing a kind of decline in real political federalism, where every issue is a federal issue.
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the states don't matter in the way they used to. they're being treated as administrative subdivisions of government. >> in politics it's particularly true. >> right. that's enormously destructive for our country. the states do matter and they ought to be treated as the sovereign entities that he they are. >> on the record, you do want to appeal the 17th amendment. >> you don't want an elected senate? >> i want to raise the voting age to 35. >> don't go there. >> in terms of your mentioning that the states don't matter, i think from a policy perspective, particularly from an issues perspective, the problems with the laws that are being passed in the state, what is being proven is that the states do matter. >> sure. >> that's the reason why republicans are putting more money in the states n governor's races, in judgeships, that's the reason why. >> there are things at stake there. if you look at things like health care, we're not getting 50 health care systems, we're getting one federal health care
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system. >> now. >> well, i know you think that. and god will forgive you. but, you know, there's so many things from, you know, health care, to the economy, to other things like gun rights which ought to be a state-by-state issue rather than a federal issue. even this sort of, you know, leviathan effect where everything has to happen in washington. >> speaking of nationalizing washington, our next guest is running against a candidate, representative steve king, who has quite a national profile. he enjoys going on cable news, not that there's anything wrong with that, to give some very hard right provocative statements and we're going to tuck to christie vilsack who's running against steve king in the great state of iowa right after this break. [ sighs ] ♪ oh, he's shaggy ♪ and he eats like a hog [ male announcer ] the volkswagen jetta. available with advanced keyless technology. control everything from your pocket, purse, or wherever.
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republican steve king. christie, it's great to have you on the program. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. it's great to be here. >> so we're talking about the ways in which you have a very tightly contested race and all the analysis of what the sort of top swing districts are, it's probably in the top 10, top 15 in the country. we're talking about the way the national politics play out locally. i'd like to get your sense of this. do you feel that the issues that are happening in your race are about what's happening in your district? are they about the people's conception of steve king as a national political conservative figure? how do you see this playing out in your race? >> well, i think we both see this job differently. i see it very locally. we've lost a congress person in iowa and this district is much bigger. my district is the richest agricultural space in the world and i'm going to be representing a lot of people who live in small towns and small cities and they want to make sure that they
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have economic opportunity at the local level. so my race is focused on that. steve king has really i think seen the job as through a national lens, through a washington lens and i think he sees the job as a way to push his personal agenda and to promote an ideology that has nothing to do really with the economic prosperity of the people in these small towns. >> steve king, i should note, the district that you're now running for that he represents has been redistricted. it's changed a bit. >> yes. >> it is -- the voter registration, i think its a still republican in your district but nowhere near as republican as it formerly was, is that right? >> well, actually, i think the independents will decide the race. 37% of independents so neither of us can win with our base. it really i think requires an independent spirit and paying attention to all of the people in this district. you know, my district, as i said, it's probably the richest
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agricultural district in the country and it's also a senior district. so i will never turn my back on the seniors of my district. they helped to raise me and make me who i am in the state and i'm going to make sure i take care of them. >> i'm imagining a village of seniors. >> you're right. that's true. >> when you say that i think the obvious. it has to do with medicare, right. i'm curious how much the house republican caucus and the ryan plan and the votes on medicare, how much is that playing a rolling in your race? >> well, i think it will play a huge role because i don't think seniors want to be out on the streets with vouchers trying to find health care and i'm going to do everything i can to protect them from that because, you know, they worked really hard. they've worked their whole lives and these are not entitlement programs. these are programs they've paid into and now they deserve to reap the benefits of that. my opponent basically has suggested that the people in my state are slackers and that
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we're not producing enough and contributing enough to the gross national product and that we should really be working until we're 74. there are a lot of people in iowa who want to work until they're 74 but there are a lot of people who have worked back breaking work and when it's time for them to retire, they should enjoy the benefits of retirement. i'm going to protect those benefits and do everything that i can because they shouldn't have to use vouchers and come up with another $6,000 to take care of their health care. >> kevin, do you have a question? >> well, i mean, it's not as though our only choices in life are medicare as it exists and some sort of dakenzian state where seniors are thrown out on the street. i like her chances in this race because the district is full of farmers and older people which are the two biggest recipients of welfare in the country. if you look at the farm bill. everyone talks about corporate welfare. have you ever read the farm bill? there's a word for it that i can't use on television mess but
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giveaways to the interests. i think that's probably worth addressing. >> christie, i'd like you to respond. the farm bill is one thing that didn't get done. there is a lot of critiques that it was put together. does it end up benefitting the people or car gil and monsanto. >> i think the senate did a good job there. this is one of the only successes i think this year that they created a farm bill that was acceptable to a lot of people but the house was not able to pass the farm bill. i'm wearing my farmville now button. basically all of the people in my delegation, including senator chuck grassly, congressman tom latham basically signed the petition that would have forced the farmville to come to a vote last week, but steve king did not. he's an outlier in this regard. i don't know how somebody like that can represent this district which is all small towns and farm fields and small cities that rely on agriculture and not
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show leadership in terms of bringing this farm bill to a vote. the farm bill -- and it's really the farm food and jobs bill is an opportunity to create jobs. i've talked to a lot of young farmers who are depending on this new farm bill to help them get involved in farming and so, you know, it's really important that we get the farm bill taken care of right now. >> democratic candidate for congress, kristie vilsack, should mention you're the wife of tom vilsack. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. all right. so what do we know now that we didn't know last week? my answers after this. now, that's what i call a test drive.
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♪ in just a moment, what we now know we didn't know last week. quick update. upturned 1-year-old. polling along on twitter today, you may have noticed the very first is here with us in new
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york. a year ago wyatt created the uppers hash tag that we all have come to know and love. there were 11. today we average between 24 thousa -- 4,000 and 6,000 nationally during the show. for that we wanted to thank wyatt and all of you for the incredible community that you have built with us. with your help, will be more ambitious. we hope you will join us on a new digital plat form. today launching a tumbler. posting a lot more of all those bright crafts, charts, photos and videos our team produces every week. you can follow us there at upwithchris.tumbler.com. what else do we now know we didn't know last week? would now know chicago public school students are back in the classroom. the teachers union voted to end the strike and accept contract offered by mayor emanuel. brought sharp leaf the lines of conflict within the departmentcratic party commonly referred to as education reform.
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we also know that important all the hectoring, teachers union was subjected to about hurting students contract they secured over striking nearly includes 600 new art, music and gym teachers and guarantee of textbooks on the first day of class and a million and a half dollars for special education teachers. we now know the name of the first village on planet earth to be entirely relocated because of climate change. we know the residents on the second largest island in fiji are in the midst of relocate to higher ground because of increasing flooding made their previous home uninhabitable. such locations will be more common as we enter a new warmer period in earth atmosphere. we know the ceo of exxonmobil accept it is consensus carbon emissions are warming the earth and as this message for the world's farmers. >> we spent our entire existence adapting. okay. so we will adapt to this.
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changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around, we will adapt to that. it is an engineering problem. and it has engineering solutions. >> i know we are almost certainly never happen and love to see rex meet face to face with the climate refugees that his company's actives are creating or have mitt romney head to the village and tell the people living there how hilarious it is that the oceans are rising. find out what my guests know that they didn't know when the week began. >> what we now know we didn't know that -- at the start of the week is that mitt romney really is -- you know, ignoramus when it comes to the middle east. truly disengaged and dysfunctional player. one of the least covered parts of that tape was his statement about palestinians. when mitt romney went to jerusalem, he passed up opportunities, please, from moderate palestinians, from many people in the palestinian community to meet with him and
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tell him and talk to him. he passed up pleas from the peace community that wanted to meet with him and talk about the dynamics. in this tape -- we know why he passed it up. because of fund-raisers. we learned he needed to have those meetings. he makes presumptions about masses of people in a -- deeply troubled part of the world. deeply challenging part of the world that are so destructive. i know -- i think that's a disqualified statement. >> we cut that tape and didn't put it -- didn't play it. we will play it the new tumbler. i agree with you. >> as i said earlier, in the show, the country is changing. you know, more people of color will be part of the electorate and there are -- there are organizations that will organize for that effort and really trying to do that focus on the states and flipping legislators. so in texas, mary gonzalez, under 30, lgbt, going to
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represent her constituents there. all organized around -- >> state rep? >> yes. in texas, no less. and you know, we really immediate to focus not only on the presidential elections but also down ballot races and state legislators because that's where a lot of these policies that we continually come from. >> at the ricks of channeling john edwards, really are would americas in a sense. there are two economies. have you situation which unemployment remains very high, growth is very weak, lots of people and a on -- in a lot of trouble. iphone 5 sales are off the charts. apple stock hits 700 bucks, something like that. big gap there. >> yes. huge, absolutely, would economies right now. you have -- all these -- people that in that room with mitt romney and -- even people below that on the income scale doing very well, bottom third, bottom half of the income distribution are not. >> i don't know if this counts as something i didn't know. i knew barack obama was on the
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fast and furious debacle and knew eric holder wasn't but now there has been a beneficial report to congress that defintively states about three, four levels down from holder that this sort of mess got started. the conspiracy theory endorsed in part by issa it was all a plot to disarm americans. >> pot -- >> less attention. >> the gash enormous mess of corruption and ineptitude. >> that's -- that's better than -- my thanks to john nichols, political strategist, joy williams, thanks for getting up and thank you for joining us for "up." join us tomorrow. we will have author thomas frank and special roundtable on islam movie and how speech designed to inplame. melissa takes mitt romney's 40% remarks at face value.
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country music legend willie nelson weighs in. "melissa harris-perry" coming up next. we will see you right here tomorrow at 8:00. thanks for getting up. on every one of our cards there's a date. a reminder... that before this date, we have to exceed expectations. we have to find new ways to help make life easier, more convenient and more rewarding. it's the reason why we don't have costumers. we have members. american express. welcome in.
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